When Orlanth and his brothers were young, just godlings without a hint of their natural powers, they were left alone in a spruce grove. Their father and mothers were elsewhere, busy with chores.

At that time some giants came upon them. They were all enemies of the children because their father had offended them. The giants did not waste a moment, but snatched them up and took them into the Mutable Forest. This woods, sometimes called the Marching Woods, did not have roots, and the plants roamed about. Sometimes, in those days, even the mountains moved, and so there were no known trails or paths there.

The giants were Genert, Lord of the Earth; Kalt, the Renewing God; Lodril, lord of Fire; Magasta, the Sea giant; Dehore, Darkness‑keeper; and some others whose names are not known now. These were all uncles of the children gods, so although they hated them they could not kill them. Instead, they decided to destroy them without having to take responsibility for the deed.

They lied to the children, and said that they had prepared tests for each of them, and that afterwards they would be gods. In truth, they took the children to various wicked places which they could not understand, and they put a child in each. They hoped that one would destroy the other, and thereby lessen the number of foes.

Vase showing the initiation of Orlanth and each pitThey took Vadrus and dropped him into the Deep Well, and then clapped the lid on. They were sure that he would be drowned by Water, an element which had no connection to air.

They took Urox, and threw him among the Animal Corral. They were sure he would be devoured by the hungry creatures.

They took the other one, and cast him into the Sex Pit. They hoped he would be driven mad by the demons.

They took Humakt, and threw him into the Fighting Pit. They were sure he would be destroyed by this frightening activity.

They took Orlanth, and put him among the Strange Gods. The giants were sure that the nest of alien powers would destroy the youngest child.

The uncles went to their hall, and prepared a great feast for their victory.

Vadrus stirred the Well so rapidly that the gods there streamed into one swirling pool of water, and Vadrus escaped through the seams in the well lid.

Urox confronted the carnivores of the wild, and did not run from them, but stamped them beneath his bloody hooves. Then he broke down the corral and released all the creatures.

The other brother failed, and was driven mad by the demons.

Humakt already knew everyone in the Fighting Pit, and they could not stand before him. They were all disarmed, or surrendered, and Humakt climbed from the pit on their weapons.

Orlanth quarreled at first with the Strange Gods, but some of them were friendly. With them Orlanth prepared a plan, and they escaped from the Prison of the Strange gods.

The successful brothers met, and Orlanth urged them all to help their failed kinsman. They formed the Brothers’ Ring, and they moved into position around the Sex Pit. They made their chants and prayers there, and after a struggle he came out before them, and together they did their best to heal him.

Then they went to the great hall, where their uncles had prepared a great feast. Their hosts were surprised to see them, but realized that they must honor their nephews now as gods with powers. So they held a great feast, and since then all the storm gods and the people of the storm tribes have held victory feasts after initiation.